Asthma Update 12-4-2006

Last weeks Pulmonary Functions testcompared to
Septembers Pulmonary Functions test

I know most of my friends and readers aren’t lung specialists , but all the numbers you see in the far right column should read anywhere from 80- 100 . As you can see ,my numbers are a lot lower than that , and have dropped even more since September. I’m now down in the 30% range for the FEV1 and below 50% for the FEV1/FVC . Both these numbers are strong indicators for the degree of severity and the mortality rate of this disease. They are more in line with what you would expect to see in a person severe emphysema, rather than a relatively young marathon walker.
Oddly enough , despite these rather depressing PFT results, I just completed a solid week of green days and managed to get in some spectacular walking workouts as well. Last friday morning for example ( before the car crash incident), I racewalked farther then I ever have in a single segment….350 yards to be exact . That’s almost a quarter of a mile, and nearly twice as far as I was able to walk just a month ago. So once again, my doctors are amazed and somewhat baffled on how I manage to function so well– on so little.

Later this week I’m supposed to receive my first Xolair injection . I’m going to get one injection per month for the next 6 months ,then we’ll re-evaluate to see it it’s helping or if it’s just a waste of money.

I’m also supposed to have a 24 hour esophageal pH study where they insert a catheter through your nose into your stomach and leave it there for 24 hours. ( Sounds like fun!) They hook you to this portable monitor that records how much acid your stomach produces throughout the day. I’ve never had any heartburn issues , but apparently a high percentage of chronic asthmatics have gastric esophageal reflux disease ( GERD), and never have any stomach symptoms. It’s believed that this “silent reflux” may be one of the triggers for asthma, especially for people have who are awakened at night with breathing problems.

For you asthmatics and non-asthmatics alike, make sure you get your flu-shot. It’s not too late.!

That’s it for now.

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